Home Energy Management Loosening Showerhead Water Flow Restrictions Makes No WaterSense

Loosening Showerhead Water Flow Restrictions Makes No WaterSense

Glenn Hasek

While shorter showers and not letting the shower water run are encouraged in at least one article on the U.S. Department of Energy’s own website, and the U.S. EPA has its own long-standing and successful WaterSense label program to reward showerhead water efficiency, President Trump believes the time is now to get less showerhead efficient.

Following numerous public complaints from the president about low-flow fixtures designed to save water, the Department of Energy has proposed to change the definition of a showerhead. In the new proposal, different components within a showerhead would be allowed to count as individual showerheads. This would allow some showerheads to easily sidestep requirements that allow no more than 2.5 gallons to flow through per minute. (WaterSense labeled showerheads use no more than 2.0 gallons per minute.)

Of course, reaction was swift to the proposal with many stating that consumers are fine with the flow of water that showerheads currently provide. In fact, our industry’s suppliers have spent millions of dollars and countless hours providing superior, water-saving shower experiences for travelers. These showerheads save huge amounts of money, energy, and provide relief to drought-stricken areas of the country. (Check out the current United States Drought Monitor and you will see many areas in the West currently in moderate, severe, and extreme drought.)

Gimmick in Search of a Problem

In an article on The Hill, Andrew deLaski, Executive Director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said, “The new plan is a gimmick in search of a problem.”

“The DOE’s new proposal could violate ‘anti-backsliding’ provisions put in place in the 1992 law when Congress established the 2.5 gallon standard,” The Hill said.

DeLaski said he suspects the DOE will be challenged on the rule if it is finalized, with environmental groups working to demonstrate the climate change impacts of the decision.

The president has also complained in the past about water-saving standards around sinks and toilets. In December, for example, he described a titanic struggle to flush a toilet, without providing specifics. “People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once,” Trump claimed during a meeting with small business leaders at the White House.

Maybe the President should focus on the real problem at hand—the pandemic—and not his hair?

I trust you all will not be running out to get less-efficient showerheads anytime soon—even folks who work at Trump Hotels. Keep up your conservation work and ignore such nonsensical suggestions.

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